So I've been stuck at home for the second four day stretch with my little people and its got me thinking. The first couple of snow days earlier this year were all fun and games. It was a nice little treat and we had some good family time and sat around playing games and eating stuff and just hanging out. I kept thinking, I really miss this "having the kids with me all day" kind of routine. By that Friday I was so ready to get out of the house it wasn't even funny. Then this week I didn't even play, we did school work, chores, naptime, etc. and I hated it. The kids' voices and requests just started nagging at me and I wanted to get AWAY FAST! I felt the irony of the whole thing, the sentimentality of the perfect scenario tricked me again. It reminded me of my early parenting years.
I came into the game early and made my assumptions and judgments of how my parenting style would be the most amazing thing ever to hit this universe. I would be the laid back, cool parent who had all her stuff together. No toting around an arsenal of kid relative materials in my bag. My children would learn to suck it up and drive on without all the bells and whistles. They would not completely alter my life patterns. Back then I had no clue what I was in for. Today I'm still parenting little people and I am not the same parent twenty years later. Here are a few things that I have learned:
1) "They're not little forever"-this can seem like a hopeful thought when they are pooping in their pants and crying all night, but it can also be a helpful reminder as well.
2) "You never stop being a parent"-no matter how big your baby gets he or she will always be your baby.
3) "When your child messes up they are not doing it to hurt you"-Remember this when they are teenagers.
4) "Parenting is not an obstacle course with a finish line"-Take it slow, it passes faster than you think.
5) "You're going to start calling your parents to say you're sorry more and more as you're children grow"-I never understood my mom's wisdom until I became the parent of a teen.
6) "They are tiny versions of you"-Your mannerisms, icky traits, idiosyncrasies, are all magnified in your children, it will be like looking into a scary mirror, therefore you'll be doing a lot of apologizing to God and your spouse as well.
7) "The detachment process is going to be harder than you think"-Remember the first day dropping them off at school? Imagine their first day of college or wedding day, it doesn't stop!
8) "You will want to kill people"-Sometimes it will be your spouse, sometimes it will be your child, or your child's teacher, or another child who has hurt your child, the list goes on...
Now I share these things to encourage you parents out there, not to discourage you! Parenting is one of the single most terrifying, challenging, nerve-wracking, wonderful, rewarding, life-changing experiences that you will embark upon. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a life long endeavor that is blessed by our Heavenly Father himself. You will learn more about yourself, your own parents, and your God than you ever dreamed, not to mention have the unique privilege to be a partner in shaping a future citizen of the kingdom. Take the job seriously, but don't take yourself seriously. Enjoy and don't over analyze. You get one chance, and one life, make sure and find joy in the journey!